Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Best of 2011- Best YA Contemporary: Anna and the French Kiss

Anna and the French Kiss
Just right this second I decided I will join my fellow bloggers in setting out my favorites of 2011 (meaning when I read them, not necessarily when they were released), and I will start with my hands-down favorite contemporary novel.

It had been so long since I had read a truly wonderful truly contemporary (i.e. no paranormal, no dystopian, no fantasy, no mystery) YA novel, until I finally bought Stephanie Perkins' ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS a couple of weeks ago.  What can I say, but j'adore! I have recounted here that although I myself am an over-recommender, I often get resistant to reading books that are continually recommended to me (especially when its my dad doing the recommending- sorry dad, no excuse) and so although this book had been on my "to-read" list for the better part of the year, I didn't actually pick it up until December.

And I'm an idiot.  Books are lauded for a reason and this one was no different.

I loved this book.  To quote my sister, "I am so in love with St. Clair, I feel like I'm cheating."  This was everything that is wonderful about contemporary fiction and exactly what I feel like I've been missing since Steve Kluger's MY MOST EXCELLENT YEAR several years ago.  The characters, and most importantly their dialogue, felt so real and I was desperately involved with them from the opening pages.  All of the relationships- friendships, familial, and romantic were done perfectly.  And like my sister I can add Etienne St. Clair to the list of characters residing in my heart.

What were your contemporary favorites in 2011?


  1. This one, which was the only contemporary I read. But I LOVED it and can't wait to read Lola and the Boy Next Door by S. Perkins.

    I'm not a huge fan of contemporary so I'm assuming that it's the author's way with words that totally pulled me in... and oh yeah, St. Clair. He sure is yummy :)

  2. I'm not big on reading contemporary, but I did love If I Stay and Where She Went by Gayle Forman. I really need to read Anna & the French Kiss. It's been in my TBR pile for months and I haven't picked it up yet:)

  3. I liked Anna and The French Kiss too. My only thing was that I knew exactly what was going to happen from the first time she met St. Clair. I did love the ending though. It tied up a few themes very well. It was definitely relatable and well-written and interesting, but so, SO predictable. That peeved me a bit.

  4. This is another that's been on TBR list for a while. I'll have to bump it up a notch. Why can't I read while I'm sleeping?

  5. Cristina: It was definately Stephanie Perkins' words that pulled me in! Other contemporary books I liked this year were three by John Green that I read (An Abundance of Katherines, looking for alaska, and Paper Towns), the Cyd Charisse books by Rachel Cohn, and Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan (which will be on my favorite reads of 2011 list).
    Melissa: You have to read Anna! Bump it up on the list!
    McKenzie: I totally agree with you on the predictability, but maybe I needed a dose of that- most of what I've been reading is one reveal after another (it's a ghost! they're sisters! weres exist!, etc.). It gets exhausting.
    Jenny: If you figure out how to do that, let me know!


I love to get comments! Please keep them PG as I am writing for kids and young adults and hope some of them will find their way here.